Osi Umenyiora doesn't want to be the bad guy
Osi Umenyiora doesn’t want to be the bad guy.
The New York Giants defensive end has asked for a new contract, one he says general manager Jerry Reese has promised him. Now, he has permission to shop himself for a trade, but the club wants a first-round draft pick in return.
Umenyiora will earn more than $7 million over the next two seasons, but he wants the new paper.
“I hope there is a chance, but who knows?" Umenyiora wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “It's just frustrating to see how people react to one thing, and not the other. Just be fair."
"What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded. Saying I have two years left on my deal. These contracts only mean something to us? Where is (Shaun) O'Hara? Where is (Rich) Seubert? True inspirational football players.
"They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal. Why is (Brandon) Jacobs asked to take a pay cut? He has years left on his deal. The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you underperformed, they cut you without hesitation. But if you clearly outplay your contract, and ask for something to be done, you're a bad guy and not a team player. It's ridiculous."
Umenyiora doesn’t see how Charles Johnson of the Panthers, who signed a $72 million, six-year contract, should earn more than him. Johnson has had one big season.
“How does a guy who had one good year (no disrespect to Charles Johnson) sign a deal and make more than both me and (Justin) Tuck combined?" Umenyiora wrote. "It's not right. Everyone in this business understands that is exactly what it is. Business. And just like none of us get upset when our teammates are released due to business decisions, the teams also don't get upset when something like this happens."
Umenyiora is taking a hard stand and he has valid points. Unfortunately, the Giants don’t have much in the way of cap room.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune